Wrath and revenge, dynamite often thrown back at former partners of a dissolved personal relationship, have morphed with technology and now often appear online as revenge porn. Across the country, and here in Illinois, legislators have advanced proposals designed to combat the malicious postings of an ex-partner in a sexual situation. While acknowledging the abusive impact of revenge porn and the need to give victims legal recourse against perpetrators, The Chicago Sun-Times editorial cautions against state legislative action that slaps on criminal sanctions. The editorial, decrying the reality of unchecked revenge porn, notes that:
While acknowledging that revenge porn is a serious problem, the American Civil Liberties Union prefers to attack it with civil, rather than criminal, penalties. There’s some sense to that; over recent decades we’ve been in too much of a rush to find ways to put people in prison. We’ve seen police and prosecutorial overreaching with laws on sexting, for example... We’re not sure civil penalties would be a sufficient deterrent, but it seems wise to try them first.